Dear Coleen: I want to marry her but she avoids any intimacy

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Dear Coleen

I’ve been a girl for the past two years. We love each other a lot and intend to spend our future together and get married.

Although we’re both only 21, we’re very clear about our . We don’t want to rush into telling our parents about our plans just yet, though. Since getting together, our families have got to know each other really well, but are under the impression that we are just really close .

Problems started to arise when we began getting physically close. At first we only shared tight hugs, but she confessed that the whole hugging scenario plays on her mind!

Our first kiss happened after a year of dating. It’s been two years now and she still doesn’t like getting close and complains that it haunts her. But she has no answer as to why it plays on her mind like this or what exactly “haunts” her.

I thought she liked and hugging because at times she would hug me so tight she’d almost choke me. Now, though, even the hugs have stopped and both of us are clueless as to what to do. We can’t even discuss it with our parents, as they don’t know we’re in a relationship.

I tried to resist the urge to get close, but after about four months we ended up arguing over it.

I even think she is developing negative feelings for me because of things we’ve done – like topless hugging.

I really don’t want to lose her and both of our families get along so well now, but what can I do?

Coleen says

If you’re genuinely serious about each other then, before getting engaged, you need to sort this problem out.

It sounds like she might have buried something in her past that triggers this fear or repulsion over intimacy. If I were her, I’d want to figure this out otherwise it will affect her chances of forming a loving relationship. It could be that she’s just nervous of having for the first time and the more she worries about it, the more scary it seems and the less able she is to relax.

But it’s a hard topic to discuss with your parents, even if they knew you were dating. I think you need to start by being with each other. If you feel mature enough to spend your lives together, then you should be mature enough to tackle this issue together, which may involve counselling.

As for your families being the best of friends – you can’t stay together for them if things don’t feel right between the two of you. Ultimately, it’s the two of you who will have to spend the rest of your lives together.

Being intimate should be the most natural thing in the world if you really love someone.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, and relationship problems

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